We’ve come a long way when it comes to using the internet on our phones and 5G, short for “fifth generation,” is on its way. It’ll bring improvements in download and upload speeds, but don’t expect to gain access right away — it’ll take time to proliferate throughout major cities and wider rural areas.
Phone manufacturers have started releasing and planning for models that will be able to run 5G. Whether you think we need 5G or not, if you plan to purchase a 5G-capable phone, look no further. We have all the info on both confirmed and rumored phone models that will be able to access 5G.
Looking for the very best examples? We’ve made a list of the best 5G smartphones you can buy.
5G phones available now
5G phones by brand
There’s absolutely no doubt Apple will pick up 5G eventually, so the only question is when. At the moment, the whispers indicate that the iPhone giant won’t be looking to release a 5G iPhone until 2020 — so expect 5G capabilities on the iPhone in 2020.
This is no surprise, really. Apple can be slow to adopt new technology; just look at how long it took for it to adopt wireless charging and water-resistance. That’s not because Apple is lazy — far from it. Instead, Apple will likely only include the standard once it’s sure it works well and is not a waste of time. Being in a dominant market position, Apple can afford to wait.
Apple phones rumored to support 5G
There haven’t been any rumors from Google about a 5G update for the Pixel range but it’s early days yet. The Pixel 4 came and went without a 5G variant, leading many to suspect the Pixel 5 may be the first 5G-supported Google phone. However, rumors have reached our ears of a 5G model of the Pixel 4a. If so, this would be a real surprise. Google’s midrange Pixel line may only have debuted last year, but it wasn’t expected to be the pioneering branch of the Pixel line where 5G is concerned. However, if true, this could be an excellent way into the 5G market for anyone who doesn’t want to spend big bucks on a 5G flagship phone.
Pixel phones rumored to support 5G
HMD Global (Nokia)
Well, it had us waiting for some time, but HMD Global has finally revealed the Nokia 8.3 5G — the first 5G-enabled Nokia phone.
While we’ve been waiting a while for this phone, it was more or less a foregone conclusion it would arrive eventually. Nokia has been very active in helping to build 5G infrastructure and was involved with 5G networks for the 2020 Olympics. In July 2018, T-Mobile also announced it was working with Nokia to help build a U.S. 5G network. Nokia could also make $3.50 for every single 5G phone released, thanks to its work on the standard.
HMD Global (Nokia) phones that support 5G
Due to the Android licensing issues surrounding Huawei and Honor, the launch of Honor’s first 5G phone — the Honor V30 5G (also known as the Honor View 30 5G) — was a somewhat muted affair in the west. Still, it exists, opening the 5G floodgates for Huawei’s sister company. Are we likely to see more Honor phones with 5G? Absolutely. It seems sure the Honor 30S will launch with 5G after Honor president George Zhao was pictured on social media with it.
Honor phones that support 5G
- Honor V30
- Honor 30 Lite
- Honor 30 Pro Plus
- Honor X10
- Honor X10 Max
Despite rumors saying we’d be seeing a 5G HTC smartphone in the second half of 2019, we’ve heard very little from HTC. New rumors are saying a 5G HTC phone will arrive sometime in 2020. However, considering HTC’s terrible 2019, we wouldn’t be surprised to see such a phone pushed back again.
While we still haven’t seen a 5G phone from HTC yet, it has released a 5G hub your phone can use to connect to a 5G network.
HTC phones expected to support 5G
- HTC U20 5G
- HTC Desire 20 Pro
Huawei has made no secret of its ambitions for 5G, and first spoke about a handset with 5G support in February 2018. Back then, 2019 was the target date for release, and Huawei has hit that with the release of the folding, 5G-capable Huawei Mate X. Since then, Huawei has made hay, releasing the MatePad Pro 5G and P40 series.
Huawei phones that support 5G
Huawei phones expected to support 5G
LG was hot out of the gate, and teamed up with Sprint to deliver the LG V50 ThinQ in early 2019, becoming one of the first 5G devices to hit the market. In fact, LG was so keen to get in on the 5G trend that it pushed the V50 ThinQ out a lot earlier than expected, with the phone landing on 20 June. LG gave 5G a rest for the LG G8 ThinQ, and has seemingly made it a V-range staple, adding 5G to the dual-screen LG V60 ThinQ. The latest LG Velvet also sports 5G connectivity with a Snapdragon 765G chipset.
LG phones that support 5G
Motorola is in something of a unique position on this list because not only has it already released multiple phones with 5G capabilities, it’s also updating previous phones with 5G connectivity through a special Moto Mod. The Moto Z4 and Moto Z3 use Motorola’s Moto Mod attachment to add a 5G power pack accessory onto the back of the phone, making it possible to access 5G networks. The Moto Z2 Force, a 2017 flagship, will also get access to 5G through the mod after its Android Pie update — but only Verizon models will get that update.
But don’t expect Motorola to slow down just because it’s taken an early lead. 2020 features more than a few Motorola phones with 5G, and top of that list is the Motorola Edge Plus.
Motorola phones that support 5G
OnePlus hasn’t gone mad with 5G releases, but it did jump on the bandwagon early with the OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7T Pro was OnePlus’s second 5G phone, and OnePlus has continued its 5G support in the OnePlus 8 Pro. It’s probably a signifier of the increased maturity of 5G that OnePlus chose not to include “5G” in the title — essentially, it’s becoming more and more commonplace. Best of all, for fans of cheaper hardware, the OnePlus 8 also includes support for 5G.
OnePlus phones that support 5G
Despite making early waves by being the first to access a 5G network, Oppo didn’t really capitalize by releasing a slew of 5G devices quickly. But that doesn’t mean it’s done nothing, and there are now a number of 5G Oppo devices available.
Oppo phones that support 5G
Relative newcomer Realme has so far excelled at providing strong phones at reasonable prices, and that philosophy has extended to its first 5G phone. The Realme X50 Pro 5G is a flagship-level device with a solid camera system that starts from just $650, making it one of the cheapest ways to access 5G.
Realme phones that support 5G
Samsung is the largest mobile manufacturer in the world, and it would be silly to expect it to sit back and ignore 5G. Despite saying the S10 wouldn’t be Samsung’s first 5G device earlier in 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G was Samsung’s first 5G phone, with the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G being the second, just beating the Galaxy Fold to the finish line. As expected, the Galaxy S20 range has its fair share of 5G phones.
Samsung announced a new focus on its midrange phones in 2018, and it has underlined that with the introduction of a 5G version of the midrange Galaxy A90. That said, while cheaper than Samsung’s more expensive flagships, it still costs about $800, so it’s hard to call it affordable. Samsung has rectified that a little bit by launching the Galaxy A71 5G and A51 5G, offering 5G connectivity for just $600 and $500 respectively.
Samsung phones that support 5G
Samsung phones expected to support 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2020
- Samsung Galaxy Fold 2020
While we didn’t see a 5G Sony phone in 2019, 2020 has seen the reveal of the Sony Xperia 1 II, Sony’s first 5G phone. Due to be announced at the ill-fated MWC 2020, Sony’s new flagship phone sports an upgraded camera, the Snapdragon 865, and a massive CinemaWide OLED display.
Will there be more 5G Sony phones? Sony is on Qualcomm’s list of 5G partners, so it makes sense we’ll be seeing more 5G-enabled phones from Sony over the year.
Sony phones that support 5G
Xiaomi phones that support 5G
ZTE’s first 5G phone came in early 2019 when the Axon 10 Pro 5G released in Europe and China in May 2019. ZTE was a little quiet for the rest of 2019, but came roaring back in 2020 with the ZTE Axon 10s Pro. Like most other smartphone brands, these 5G devices are flagship-level phones and come with top specs. ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia also announced a 5G phone: The Nubia X.
ZTE phones that support 5G